Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First Knight ★★

    Europe's Medieval period of history is one filled with sword fighting, exquisite architecture, and ultimately: romanticism. Of course, this is the idea that prevails from numerous depictions in the art of film. Although these aspects surely existed, this age is best characterized as a time of great adaption and substantial growth for humanity through religion, literature, and a number of fine arts.

    King Arthur is a man that can be ascribed with the same misconceived notions that this era of history justifies. For, his life's work has been perceived through the likes of folklore and literary invention. "First Knight" is a picture that continues this sentimentalized portrayal and attempts to fulfill the audience's desire for what should be or the truth of human nature. Which, in this particular instance, is the ideal that true love conquers all, even moral burdens.

    Our story centers on Lady Guinevere of Lyonesse. Her people have been the victims of malicious attacks stemming from the cruel intentions of a former Roundtable Knight in Malagant. With nowhere else to turn, Guinevere boldly decides to forgo her intuition and accept the marriage proposal of King Arthur, as he can provide protection for her land and people. An inevitable moral decision to increase happiness for all.

    As Guinevere makes her way to Camelot, the escorting convoy is ambushed and Guinevere is captured. By chance or fate, a rogue swordsman by the name of Lancelot saves the princess and essentially falls in love--and this is where the film takes a turn for the worst. Everything that takes place subsequently is dictated by this underdeveloped relationship, which theoretically could be summarized as love at first sight, although without the magic to accompany such perceptions, we are left with a tale of ineffectiveness.

    If we were to be forthright, this attraction between Guinevere and Lancelot is one of sexual craving more than anything else. (This may be due to the fact that he is the only male seemingly around her age group, and she is the only beautiful woman he has seen in years.) It doesn't take much to fall in love with a woman when your current companion is an iron sword and your trips around the country hardly come into contact with single women. The magic of true love, which supposedly underlines the film, is never fully realized.

    The action sequences consist of Lancelot rescuing Guinevere, as helplessness becomes her most prominent trait, and a clash between King Arthur and Malagant's men under a moonlit battlefield. The latter being the opportune moment for Lancelot to exercise his courage, as he disposes of countless enemies with his unmatched skill set in swordsmanship. Which begs a question of its own: Is it really considered bravery, if one is an expert in the circumstances concerned?

    As the internal conflict of Guinevere's undecided affections and the external complication of Malagant's rising comes to fruition, there is an uncanny resemblance to two philosophical trains of thought. King Arthur is a man of utilitarian thought, as his actions and decisions lend the most contentment to all. Malagant becomes a representation of egoist contemplation, as he strives to do what is best for himself and care is never given elsewhere.

    Likewise, Guinevere's decision for love symbolizes the same opposing considerations. Her marriage to Arthur would lend the most joy to all and her instinctual attraction to Lancelot is nothing more than an egoist inclination. When posed with these disparate matters, it is no surprise that one would choose solely on their own accord. If this picture would have embraced this naturalistic manner of the human spirit, with regard to its romantic facet, then the benefit could be appreciated by all.

1 comment:

  1. Una de las peores películas que haya visto nunca. Para quien haya leído el "Lanzarote del Lago" de Chrétien de Troyes, la "Vulgata" del ciclo artúrico, "La muerte de Arturo" de Thomas Malory o incluso el "Camelot" de Terence H. White, no es más que una aburridísima superchería, sin ningún fundamento en la literatura artúrica que se precie. Para empezar, porque Ginebra y Arturo eran contemporáneos; sólo Lanzarote era más joven. Además, el felón envidioso que propicia el desenlace de su trágica historia de amor -o de atracción sexual- es Mordred, el hijo que Arturo tuvo con su hermana Morgaux, preso de un hechizo, no Meleagante. Para colmo, la ambientación es más propia de un relamido cuento de hadas made in Disney que de la Edad Media, y lo mismo vale para el vestuario, los paisajes, las armaduras,,,